The News-Star, Monroe, La., on tax reform:

April 15

The News-Star, Monroe, La., on tax reform:

The discussion that has begun over tax reform is a worthy one.

While most Louisianians bear a relatively low tax burden compared to other states, the tax code itself is quite complex.

That was borne out as even the best numbers available to the Gov. Bobby Jindal administration about the impact of various components of his tax package proved to be moving targets.

Jindal rightly abandoned the package as the Louisiana Legislature opened its session, but the administration clung to the hope that the Legislature might at least enact laws to repeal the income tax.

On Monday, the administration pulled back on even that effort.

It was a wise move.

Yes, we do need to simplify our tax code and continue to make our state attractive to business relocation and expansion. That conversation can — and should — continue throughout the year.

It’s possible with closely monitored numbers and a phased approach that Louisiana could make good strides in the coming years to reform the tax code.

But in a year where revenue estimates already are iffy, and balancing the budget depends on some one-time money and other unknowns, it’s not wise to fast-track changes in the revenue stream.

The proposals faced significant opposition, and in reality, they were pulled because it was becoming obvious the votes would not be there.

The politics of the matter are that the timing in the election cycle is such that few lawmakers would be able to support a sales tax increase that would negatively impact constituents and local governments if they planned to seek re-election.

Tax reform is dead for this legislative session. But, the research and discussions should continue.

It’s an idea with merit, but it needs to develop into a plan that closely examines all of the pitfalls and compensates for them.


St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

Franklin Banner-Tribune
P.O. Box 566, Franklin, LA 70538
Phone: 337-828-3706
Fax: 337-828-2874

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P.O. Box 948, Morgan City, LA 70381
Phone: 985-384-8370
Fax: 985-384-4255

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